Basil Wilson Duke, CSA: The Right Man in the Right Place

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University Press of Kentucky, Nov 4, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 358 pages
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By the early twentieth century, Basil Wilson Duke had established himself as one of Kentuckyís most popular storytellers, but unlike many other talented raconteurs, Duke was not merely a man of words. In Basil Wilson Duke, CSA, the first full-length biography of this distinguished American, Gary Robert Matthews offers keen insight into the challenges Duke faced before, during, and after the strife of the Civil War. As first lieutenant of General John Hunt Morganís legendary band of Confederate raiders, Duke became Morganís most trusted advisor and an integral contributor to his dramatic tactical successes. Duke was twice wounded in battle and was captured during a raid in Ohio in 1863. Held captive for over a year, Duke rejoined Morganís cavalry in August 1864, only days before Morgan (who was Dukeís brother-in-law) met his demise in Greeneville, Tennessee. Promoted to brigadier general and appointed commander of Morganís men, he helped convince Jefferson Davis of the futility of continued resistance at the close of the war and was assigned to the force escorting Davis in his escape. Dukeís life of action and achievement, however, did not end with the war. He wrote A History of Morganís Cavalry, preserving for posterity the experiences of his fellow warriors, and covered for the Louisville Courier-Journal an 1875 horserace that would eventually be known as the first Kentucky Derby. He built a reputation as a skilled historical writer, and his interests led him to help found the Filson Historical Society in Louisville. Duke also applied his talents to public and political life. He opened a law office and was elected as a Democrat to the Kentucky House, where he served until 1870. Then applying his legal expertise and political connections at the state and national levels, Duke represented the powerful L&N Railroad as the companyís chief lobbyist in the aftermath of the war and during the emotionally charged era of Reconstruction. Gary Robert Matthewsís comprehensive study of the life of Basil Wilson Duke allows a great soldier and statesman to step out of the shadows of the past.

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1 The Right Man in the Right Place
2 The Bluegrass
3 Missouri
4 On the Green River
5 Shiloh the End of Innocence
6 Partners in Command
7 All the Kentuckians Wanted to Ride
8 December Battles
13 We Looked at Each Other in Amazement
14 To Perpetuate His Fame
15 My Prospects in That Line Were Not Brilliant
16 Salmagundi
17 A Distinctively Southern Magazine
18 Politics and Panic
19 At the Turn of the Century
20 The Disappointments of Life Should Seem Trivial

9 We Found Pies Hot from the Oven
10 The Boys Were Sorry That Duke Was Captured
11 A Convivial Evening in Philadelphia
12 The Glory and Chivalry Seemed Gone

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Page 337 - Description of the Rise and Progress of the Harbour of Glasgow, and of the Improvement of the River from Glasgow to Port Glasgow. By J.

About the author (2005)

Gary Robert Matthews is a freelance writer in Lexington, Kentucky.

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